Premium Standard Farms (PSF), the hog production company owned by Smithfield Foods, says it will appeal a jury’s decision to award 15 plantiffs a total of more than $11 million in damages from hog odors created at its
“We believe that there are substantial grounds for reversal on appeal,” the production company said in a statement released by its law firm, Lathrop & Gage in Kansas City, MO. “The court gave the jury the impossible task of sorting through claims by 15 different individuals from seven different families in different locations with each claim raising a set of distinctive issues. We will ask the appellate court to require that each family’s claim against a specific farm be litigated separately.”
The crux of the issue is odor from a PSF hog operation in Berlin, MO. The plantiffs sued contending they couldn’t enjoy their properties because of the smell from PSF. The company countered the smell is part of living in a rural area.
But the jury ruled that even a hog operation in compliance with state environmental regulations must meet a different standard when it comes to neighbors, according to information from the Associated Press.
PSF strongly responded in a statement: “In view of the continuing hostile environment toward live hog production, we have serious concerns whether we will ever make any future investments in the state…if it is indeed the law in Missouri that a permitted farm in compliance with its permit can be subject to such damages, then to preserve its agribusiness sector, the legislature should move swiftly to correct this aberration.”